Monday, February 28, 2011

The Frankenboard: Zip Zinger Nano Review

Now, while I'm sure that my setup is not exactly how the creators at Krooked envisioned their board to be used, I'd like to mention that I've had this deck set up like this for well over a year and it is SO rad. This has to be the strangest board I have ever built up, super fun though haha. Here are the specs: 29" zip zinger nano, phantom 2, bone swiss bearings, 75mm big zigs, yellow khiros, and four pairs of 1/8" risers to fit the massive wheels haha. This thing is seriously a blast to ride around and is awesome for pushing around town.

The Deck: super stiff, short (29"), narrow (7.125"), SUPER responsive. When I first got it, I was worried that my 6'1" stature and size 12 feet would be too much for the little board to handle. I was definitely wrong. Old school asymmetrical shape and there are nice big nose and tail kicks and a tiny bit of concave, too. Construction is pretty in line with your standard skateboard deck, made from layered canadian maple so really no flex whatsoever.

This thing is one hell of a versatile deck. I have seen people slaloming hills, commuting around town, and blasting transitions (or at least trying to) at the local park all on the same set up.

Pros: Super fast. Once you get this board going with a few pushes, the 75mm wheels just keep rolling, they're so good for keepin up your momentum and makes for quickie commutes around campus. The nose and kick tails are also extremely convenient for maneuvering and pedestrian slalom as wheel as ollieing up curbs and busting fat mannies all over the place. Also, due to the narrow trucks, wheels with a big contact patch, and high standing platform, this board seriously cliiiiings to the ground which allows for quick tight turns without even using the kicktail. And one more, did I mention how tiny it is? The deck platform is 29"x 7.125" which means I can almost stick the whole thing in my backpack. Makes for awesome portability.

Cons: As you might guess, the 1/2" of rise on top of the 75mm wheels gives me quite the elevated pushing platform, which is not necessarily ideal for commuting long long distances (my quads will be pretty unhappy with me if I had to go over 5 miles straight on this guy). Not too much negative stuff to say honestly. It is a bit heavy for how big it is, but I do have it set up with monster wheels, so yea.

That all being said, I may look to mod this board a little bit so it will become for of a compact long distance pusher. I'm tempted to try and re-drill the deck to mount the trucks on the nose and tail kicks in order to lower the platform as well as give the deck a bit longer wheelbase. Now, if I actually follow through with this I'll be sure to keep you guys posted.

Happy skatings.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Save the UC Davis Domes

Also known as Baggin's End, the Domes is the most interesting place on campus in my opinion. Made up of about 28 students who are committed to living and cooperating in a sustainable manner with each other as well as the environment, it really is an amazing place. These past few months I have spent a lot of time at this student based cooperative community and have experienced countless new things--whenever I am there, I feel as though I'm in the presence of this awesome energy, and whenever I leave, I feel inspired. If you live in Davis or the surrounding area and you have never experienced the Domes first hand, then you really do need to, and soon...

Sadly, the current landlord of the Domes, UC Davis Student Housing, has decided that the 39 year old Domes are no longer inhabitable and that they need to be taken down in order to build up new housing structures. The current residents are supposed to evacuate the premises by the end of July. This, my friends, is a travesty. There is currently a strong student movement that is aiming for continual habitation of the UCD Domes and to "request that UCD acknowledge the community’s worth by protecting and nurturing it as they move forward with the proposal of the Sustainable Living/Learning Community" as Kara Sweeney, a fellow Domes advocate says.

Here is the vision statement of the domes according to our wiki page:
""As members of the Domes Community, we choose to promote and exemplify a lifestyle that incorporates the following: living practices including organic agriculture and permaculture, low-impact construction, energy efficiency, alternative forms of waste management and the general reduction of our ecological footprint, which allow us to meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. interdependence on levels ranging from emotional to economic. understanding of differences and conflict resolution through the consensus process. To encourage creativity, inspiration, initiative, personal growth and diversity. To structure our place and our community as an accessible educational resource for each other, the University of California at Davis, and the greater community of the world."

This community is invaluable to Davis as a whole and it would be horrible if it were to be bulldozed so that some more high rise student housing could be built on the historic site. If you would like to help in any way please just ask or if you have a Facebook, you can join the open group called "Save the Domes." We need all the support we can get.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

All is Right

As I predicted, once my midterms were done I had a hell of a night. Full of music, good friends, tasting treats and some wine and whiskey. This morning I woke up super early and got tons of random produce including: bok choy, spinach, red onions, sweet potatoes, peppers, and more. The kitchen of 911 Arthur street is going to be producing some mighty fine aromas this weekend.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Today at 5pm

I will be in a state of mind-numbed euphoria. It has been a hell of a week, and today is the day that all the studying hopefully pays off. We shall see...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strange Structures

Found out by the greenhouses close to campus. Possibly a massive kiln? Or maybe a small industrial compost (if that makes any sense)? Anyways, it presented a photo opportunity, so I took it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Here is a nice fat male California Newt that we found in the Cold Canyon Reserve. My friend, Karin, had to do a bit of waist deep wading in some frigid water to get this one. Totally worth it ha.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Davis Farmer's Market

I can't believe I missed it this weekend! The whole three day weekend thing really screwed my schedule over. Anyways, now I'm low on produce and I missed out on a bunch of cool subjects to shoot like this guy. He's an old funky dude with a resonator that could sing the hell out of a 16 bar blues. So good! If you don't already, I highly recommend going to your local farmer's market to enjoy the delectable treats that are offered for all five of the human senses.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something I Have Yet to Do

Successfully build a bike wheel. Nothing fancy, probably just a 3 cross pattern from some Mavic box rim to a sealed hub. Most likely, it would go on my road bike. We'll see what happens.

Also, it would be a lot easier if I had a real truing stand...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Days of the 8-Tracks

Filled with classical and jazz. Some priceless stuff to be found at the thrift store; Dexter Gordon and Coltrane and tons of other classics.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring Seedlings

It's enough to make you go all warm and fuzzy inside. I forget exactly which ones these were...perhaps some more swiss chard??

Found inside the domes greenhouse.

Friday, February 18, 2011

These Are The Nights to Remember

The nights where the sky hangs low and pitch white,
Feet dragging on the ground,
For they have been too active for hours.
The storms have since ceased,
But the movements,
They continue in contrast to the starkness,
The darkness of the barn owl
Flying just over head--
Never truly flapping his wings,
But instead allowing the sky move across his back for him.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Man Band

Well, I know some of you are my friends on facebook, so you may have already seen this shot. Either way, I'm posting it here because I'm pretty happy with it being my first attempt at editing a shot like this. At the moment I'm using Photoscape, which has been good to me thus far, but for slightly more advanced stuff like this, I think I'm going to get Photoshop.

Anyways, this shot features RJ Roush on his native instrument, the Fender Jazzmaster guitar, RJ Roush on his jam on the go instrument, the two-bit harmonica, and RJ Roush on his first true instrument, the flute. Maybe one day we will all get together and record something...

Ian Anderson and Adam Colton inspired this photo.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Flowers

They all have to be super confused by now. It was very spring-like in terms of weather the past week or so and all of a sudden BAM rain and wind again. These guys look fairly rugged so I'm sure they'll be ok.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Day After

Surreal events of the night. The wine has been all but drank up and the candles have burnt down to their very base. It is a beautiful morning, a break between the overlooking storm clouds.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Parting Out My Bike

After a long and futile venture to attempt and sell my Volume Cutter Fixed gear as a complete, I have finally given up and decided to part it out. If your interested at all I just posted everything up on the Davis craigslist in different ads. HERE is the one to the frameset. Holla at me if you're interested. I'm trying to save up some bank for a new camera.

In other news, it will probably be a long while before I get another track bike...or bike in general. I'm pretty set at the moment. I have my Cannondale 12 speed road bike which is currently my daily commuter. I have my SS montare fisher mountainbike which gets me my mountain fix when I'm in Marin. And I just finished building a tall bike...yea, I'll try and get proper photos of that up at some point.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Treasure To Be Found

It's always so tempting to go to the farmer's market with my parents because there is always so much tasty tasty stuff there. But alas, I must be heading back to Davis today.

*sigh* I was really looking forward to a Belgian waffle too.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Steep Ravine Trail Run

So today was my first trail running race. It was called the Steep Ravine Trail Run, and for good reason. The course was 30km long with 3,490 feet of elevation gain all along the California coast. The 30km started at Stinson beach, ran to Muir beach and came back. It was an AMAZING day.

I finished 1st in my age group and 14th overall with a time of 3:24:21 and also won a free pair of Ahnu shoes of my choice. I had no expectations going into this race and crossing that finish line was such a great feeling. I feel like I may have some more of these in my future.

Friday, February 11, 2011


The might being that is The Deathstar of the UC Davis campus. It definitely has so crazy architecture going on. Enough so that it regularly eats students if it is their first time trying to find a class in that area.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Female Slender Salamander

Of the Genus Batrachoseps, the exact species is unknown, however. Found in Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve last Sunday while hiking. And no, they are not typically found on rocks like this, that was just for the photo op. Usually you have to look under rocks to find em!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I am convinced that if you are sincerely good to nature, it will repay you with the only thing that it truly knows: beauty.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I find it kind of funny that the last paper I ever wrote in high school was about how I did not like pants. And if you know anything about me, you know I much prefer shorts and will wear them whenever I can.

Monday, February 7, 2011

You Can Hike Near Davis???

I know, I was surprised too, but yesterday (Sunday) I went with a group of fellow wildlifers to go hiking in Stebbins Canyon Reserve, which as it turns out is probably about 25 minutes away by car. So, since I rarely drive anywhere, that means its only an hour or so away by bike! I fully intend to head back there at some point while the weather is still this gorgeous.

Anyways, it was a beautiful day and I got to see a bunch of new herps and birds. Got to see a Lewis's Woodpecker for the first time which I was super stoked on! The coloring was magnificent.

So, over the next couple of days, don't be surprised to see some wildlife popping up on here. At the moment, here is a shot from the top of the ridge, looking out towards lake Berryessa.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Climbing Trees

Early yesterday morning I decided to go on a nice photo adventure to get some more shots. Around 8ish or so, I stopped in the UC Davis quad and had the sudden urge to climb one of the trees. This is fairly common for me, so I take off my shoes, jacket, backpack and all other things unnecessary and head up one of the red woods. Well, I just kind of kept climbing and before I knew it, I was at the top.

At the top of this tree was almost like a miniature shrine. The tree forms this natural seat a few feet from the top where someone carved a heart and "live." There were also various trinkets and things such as a bell and a piece of cloth. I intend on going back to leave on of my many bandannas up there.

It was so serene up there. Breezy too. A little bit frightening. But very, very necessary.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Last Mushroom

After having probably near a dozen shroom shots up on my site, I have finally run out. So, here is my last one, at least for now. It was pretty small and was slimy and falling apart when I found it. It was at the end of the line, its spores had been liberated from the fruiting body, and hopefully went on to successfully germinate.

So now that my mushroom series is over, check them all out here! Maybe i'll get lucky today and find some new specimens to shoot, who knows?

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Mason Jar

With some extra dramatic lighting. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Moleskine Pocket Notebook

This was taken in the midst of a summery winter day when I was walking to class (a very rare thing, you see, I usually skate). Suddenly I was struck with some inspiration and decided to take a seat in front of the Tri-Co-Ops and fill out of few pages. I ended up staying there for two hours. This guy has been getting me through some rough times recently. Really glad I have somewhere to write and draw.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I'm actually surprised I don't post more about the slackline since I spend a great deal of my free time on one. I usually try to set up the public line in front of Davis Outdoor Adventures around noonish everyday that it isn't raining (which has been a lot these past two quarters). Anyways, ya, super fun to do with a group of friends who push you to do crazy things or just do all by yourself. For me, it's all about getting into a sort of trance when on the line. I assume it is because I try to dedicate a lot of myself to the art of balance and the slackline is the perfect place to practice.

One day I hope to harness the energy of the lemur. Those guys could rock the line so hard.

You guys should come join me. Slackers unite!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time Well Spent

I spend a lot of time in Dome 6. Always full of lovely lovely people and good conversations.